A large number of people in London, England, began to “escape” because of the discovery of new variants of the more contagion of the novel coronavirus.
According to the Guardian, on December 19th local time, British Prime Minister Johnson delivered a national speech. Due to the new variant of the novel coronavirus, the number of confirmed cases in Britain has soared in the past two weeks. Scientists believe that this new variant is 70% more transmittable than the original strain. At present, the most urgent task is to ensure that the new variant virus does not lead to higher mortality.
In his speech, Johnson stressed that in order to curb the spread of the virus, from December 20th local time, southeastern England, eastern and London will be upgraded from the current level of three levels of prevention and control to the new level of prevention and control for four weeks, corresponding measures are similar to the widespread “foot ban” implemented in England in November. .
Will the new variant increase the mortality rate?
On the afternoon of December 14th local time, Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, announced for the first time that the country’s novel coronavirus had mutated, and the increase in the number of confirmed cases in southeastern England may be related to this.
“Preliminary analysis suggests that a new variant of the novel coronavirus has emerged in the UK, with more transmittable than the original strain, with at least 60 regions confirming that mutations, with a total of more than 1,000 reported cases,” Hancock said when reporting the situation to the House of Commons.
According to European News, the British government first found a confirmed case related to mutant coronavirus in September this year. Two months later, 28% of confirmed cases in the London area were related to new variants, and as of December 9, local time, the number rose to 62%.
On December 19th local time, Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser of the British government, said, “It can be seen that this new variant not only develops rapidly and improves its transmission ability, but is also becoming the main variant. In terms of transmission capacity, the new variant has defeated other variants of the novel coronavirus. .”
Valens also noted that “the mutant COVID-19 currently has 23 genetically differentities from ordinary viruses, many of which occur in changes in proteins produced by the virus, an unusually large variant related to how the virus infects and enters the cell.”
British government health officials said that the current R0 value of the basic number of COVID-19 infections in the UK is between 1 and 1.2, which means that “an average of 10 people diagnosed with COVID-19 will be infected to 11 to 12 people”, but due to the high transmission capacity of the new variants, the R0 value is expected to increase by 0. in the future. 4. The spread of COVID-19 is faster.
In response to the question of whether the new variant will cause more serious diseases, Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said in a statement, “At present, we are intensifying our work to confirm this new variant, but there is no evidence that the new variant will cause higher mortality or affect the vaccination effect of the vaccine.” .
Whitty also stressed that for the time being, this new variant is still a “problem of the speed of transmission” and may lead to more confirmed cases, so we need to take some epidemic prevention measures to curb its spread.
WHO is paying close attention to the new variant of the UK.
According to Deutsche Welle, after the discovery of the mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom, the Dutch government issued travel restrictions for the United Kingdom, requiring that flights carrying British passengers be banned from arriving in the Netherlands from 6:00 on December 20, and the ban will last until January 1, 2021.
In a statement, the Dutch government said that when analyzing a confirmed case in early December, it was found that the sample of the virus strain was consistent with the virus strain of the mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom. Therefore, the Netherlands will “restrict or control” as many passengers as possible from the UK, thus reducing the virus strains that introduce this mutation from the UK.
Dutch health authorities also said, “We are closely monitoring the development of mutant COVID-19, or additional restrictions will be imposed on other modes of transportation. In the coming days, we will work closely with EU member states to study the possibility of further limiting the influx of the virus from the UK.”
On December 19th local time, the World Health Organization also issued a statement on the emergence of mutant viruses in the United Kingdom. “We are maintaining close contact with British officials, who will continue to share information and results of ongoing research. As we learn more about the characteristics and potential effects of this mutant COVID-19, we will provide Member States and the public with the latest epidemic prevention information.”
London Railway Station is “overcrowded” after the epidemic prevention measures are upgraded.
According to the BBC, on December 19th local time, British Prime Minister Johnson said in his national speech that due to the mutation of the novel coronavirus, the government has decided to raise the epidemic prevention level in Southeast, East and London to the newly added level 4 from December 20 local time to curb Make the speed of COVID-19 spread.
“We are studying new variants of COVID-19, but as far as we know it, more precautions should be taken to prevent the virus, and when the virus changes how it attacks, we must change our defense patterns,” Johnson said.
According to the epidemic prevention level previously announced by the British government, the first to third levels correspond to the three levels of epidemic alert: “medium”, “high” and “very high”. However, due to the unoptimistic epidemic situation, Johnson announced the fourth level of epidemic prevention on December 19.
Under the four-level prevention and control measures, in addition to a few cases such as purchasing daily necessities, people need to stay at home as much as possible, and the “stay at home” epidemic prevention advice will also be written into the law; “non-essential” retail stores, cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment places and barbershops will be closed; people cannot follow It is intended to enter and exit the areas where the four-level prevention and control are implemented.
At the same time, Christmas activities in areas with level 4 epidemic prevention restrictions will be cancelled. Gatherings with people other than families will not be allowed except for special reasons, and members of up to three families will be allowed in other parts of England.
Johnson said that the epidemic restriction measures will last for two weeks, and it is expected to be reviewed on December 30 according to the epidemic situation to determine whether the epidemic prevention measures need to be extended. “I know how disappointing the news is, but we have no other choice.”
According to the British newspaper The Independent, after Johnson announced the four-level epidemic prevention restrictions, a large number of people began to “escape from London” and even rented cars to escape overnight. Izzy from Bristol said, “I hope to be able to go home safely before Christmas and reunite with my parents.”